For urban dwellers these days, green spaces seem to become a luxury and blessing, because honestly, life in the urban jungle can be just as grayish and gloomy as the facade of the buildings around them. Metropolitans around the world have recognized people’s dying needs for leisure spaces and worked hard to reserve a sizable chunk of land in often the most valuable districts of the cities for such purpose. As people gather and use these spaces for different needs, the function of them also evolve. From part of runners’ favorite routes to dogs’ happy playground, these parks certainly have lived up to its potential and in some cases, expand their original functions.
Like the prominent Central Park in New York, Taipei also has its own special park that benefits millions of its dwellers. Daan Park, situated right at the heart of Taipei’s vibrant Daan District, is a multi-functional green space that has earned itself the name, “Taipei’s Central Park.” Even though it is not big enough to have a zoo or romantic carousel, and no Hollywood movies have been shot here, Daan Park is still uniquely fascinating in its own way. Known for its biodiversity, the park not only hosts various species of plants and trees, but also has a small lake that is home to more than a dozen kind of shorebirds. One of the common scenes in the park is seeing all kinds of visitors chilling by the side of the lake, looking mesmerized at the birds and their interactions.
Daan Park is also a popular destination for picnic lovers and sports enthusiasts. With one quick walk around the park, you will be able to see people engaging in all kinds of activities, from picnicking to jogging and playing basketball. Parents and pet owners also enjoy taking their little ones there for a stroll. Another major add-on is the outdoor performance stage at the center of the park. Visitors often have the luxury to enjoy a wide range of performances on the stage. Be it dance performance or mini-concert, the open space design plus the wonderful surrounding give spectator a unique yet high quality venue to enjoy a leisure afternoon or evening.
My favorite way of spending time in Daan Park is a spontaneous stroll through it on a breezy weekend night. Unlike the buzzing atmosphere during the day, I am able to truly enjoy the tranquility that comes with an urban space like this. While it is not short of visitors at night, you are less likely to be interrupted when you just want to enjoy some alone time at a quiet and cozy place. So if you are running out of options for a mini nighttime escape in Taipei, definitely give Daan Park a try, and I guarantee that you will find so much inner peace by the end of it.